50 Years a Nurse: An Interview with Newcross' Margaret Creaney
Can you imagine doing the same job for fifty years? Newcross staff member Margaret Creaney from our Hamilton branch doesn't need to, as she reached an impressive fifty-year milestone last year, having worked in the nursing profession for half a century.
Margaret kindly agreed to be interviewed about her experience spanning over half a century...
How has the role of nursing changed over fifty years?
It’s changed dramatically! The role has become more technical with time, with the introduction of computers and technology. An example would be the ECG machine – the first time I saw one of these machines it was absolutely massive and the leads and equipment weren’t really stuck on properly so the patient would literally lie with them. People used to think the machine was keeping them alive, so having to explain how this worked was a challenge.
This technology that has been developed has helped and taken away doubts and allowed us to be more accurate. Disciplines have also changed with the introduction of ‘throwaway’ materials, where I would need to clean every instrument before where now a lot of this is disposable.
Have you had any stand out moments?
I’ve had lots of highlights but can’t think of a particular one. The satisfaction I gain from my job would probably be the main one – helping others and providing that patient-centred holistic approach.
Is the internet and technology changing what nurses do?
There’s been a big improvement in cancer care – from detection rates to survival rates it’s amazing the difference I’ve seen here. I think that nurses are now spending a lot more time with paperwork, even with the introduction of IT that’s meant that the knowledge of a Nurse has had to develop at the same time as the technology.
Have you enjoyed your time at Newcross? Why?
I’ve enjoyed my time very much! I feel like it’s going back to a patient-centred approach which I feel is becoming lost elsewhere. Our Nurses really care, we’re going in somewhere new and we’re dealing with different challenges and working with different people and constantly learning. The training and opportunities to develop have helped keep my skills up to date as well. I don’t feel pressure in the job, although I’m responsible at all times I enjoy working with people. Everyone from the people in the office to other staff are so thoughtful and genuinely care.
What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about pursuing a career in nursing?
Try and work in an environment while you’re studying – work as a Healthcare Assistant as you will build up experience and will learn things you won’t learn from studying alone. Lectures are one part but the experience is in working with patients/residents and their families. This basic grounding will stand you in good stead, and I believe the better Nurses I’ve worked with have had this experience before nursing.